3Eavesdrop With Your Right Ear, Pick Out Music With Your Left
At some point you've probably seen that spinning ballerina GIF floating around online, the one that supposedly tells you whether you're "left-brained" or "right-brained." We won't go into the details here, but not only is the ballerina test bullshit, but the thing it's testing (that logical people rely on the left hemisphere and artistic people the right) is a fairly large over-simplification. In reality, both hemispheres work together for pretty much everything.
It takes a full brain to make us as gullible as we are.
However, it is true that your two hemispheres aren't identical. In the case of sound, it's long been known that your left hemisphere kicks ass at deciphering verbal information like speech, and the right hemisphere excels with tones and music. It is also known that your left brain controls the right side of your body and vice versa. But because the information between the hemispheres is shared (through the corpus callosum -- yea, Latin), it shouldn't make much difference which ear you use to listen to things, right?
Nope. It turns out that because the left ear is always sending shit (music) to the right hemisphere and the right ear is always sending shit (speech) to the left hemisphere, the ears themselves have actually evolved in the way they process sounds.
Which means you're paying 50 percent too much for headphones.
As a result, your right ear is measurably better at processing speech, and your left ear more so at tones and music. Now, don't go expecting that turning your head to give the appropriate ear will produce a surround sound digitally remastered version of what you've normally been hearing, but there will be an improvement. This is important to remember the next time you're sneaking through the air vents of an evil corporation, or just trying to figure out whether that is in fact a Peter Gabriel song you're hearing in the supermarket.
2Hurt Your Back? Just Keep Moving
Back pain is a special kind of agony that makes you perform all your day-to-day tasks in ridiculous slow motion. And not the awesome kind of slow motion -- all the bullet dodging and dramatic theme music is replaced with bitter rage and sweat-laced anxiety over the logistics of getting out of an armchair. And as soon as somebody sees you grunting around the house, they'll say, "You need to get in bed, mister! You'll wind up crippling yourself if you don't rest that back!" It makes sense, until you realize that science says they're wrong.
Basically you're kind of being a drama queen.
The New England Journal of Medicine (supported by other research) came to the conclusion that "as little as two days of bed rest may lead to a slower recovery than the avoidance of bed rest, as well as to longer sick leaves." That's right -- they say just to walk it off.
So ditch the cane and man up, grandpa.
There's also the frightening notion suggested by some studies that "bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone and blood clots in the legs." All of this research is in reference to acute lower-back pain, which is the common "Holy titgoblins I pulled my back, put the fridge down PUT IT DOWN" kind.
To recover from your horrible wrenching back agony, scientists say that you have to earn it. Standing up and moving around, doing exercises, even just going about your regular day-to-day business is all much better for the recovery process than simply staying bedridden like Gilbert Grape's mom and allowing the damaged tissue in your back to stiffen and atrophy.
"Quit bitching and grab a second box. We can't afford a trip to the doctor."